Jersey students are celebrating GCSE success today, with a number of students attaining the top grades of 8 and 9 as part of a brand new grading system.
The grading reforms, which this year affected Maths, English Language and English Literature, were pushed through by former UK Education Minister Michael Gove in a bid to make GCSEs more challenging.
But that challenge doesn’t seem to have phased Jersey’s students. Schools across the island are reporting strong numbers of 15 and 16 year olds achieving the new top grades of 7, 8, and the highly-coveted 9, which has been likened to A**. It was only expected to be attained by a tiny fraction of exceptional students across the UK.
In its 8,443 GCSE exams, Jersey beat the UK national average once again. 70.6% achieved grades C and above, compared to 66.1% in England. Meanwhile, a quarter of students got grade A and above, in contrast to 19.8% on the mainland.
14% of JCG students hit grade 9, while Victoria College celebrated 10% of students achieving the top mark in maths.
The percentage of Hautlieu students hitting 9 was above the national average. Beaulieu reported that a third of their examinations were A* or A grades.
Education Minister Rod Bryans commented: "These are outstanding results in a time of great change. These are the first results from students who have taken the new GCSE syllabus in English and maths, which have more demanding content and greater focus on final exams. Teachers in all our schools deserve extra recognition for the work involved in introducing a new system and guiding our young people through it.
"GCSE results are the culmination of 12 years of education and a time for celebrating the hard work of the students and the support of their families. But this year more than ever I would like to thank the teachers for their dedication and professionalism in working with the Department on our principle aim of raising standards."
Next year, a further 20 subjects will move to the 1-9 grading system, with the majority of others coming into force in 2019.
Express spoke to each school about their results…
“As an academically non-selective school, we strive to help every child in our care reach their full potential, wherever their area of interest may lie. With the UK government’s focus on making GCSEs more rigorous this year, Beaulieu is delighted to have maintained a consistently high value added score… We are particularly delighted to see a number of our students attaining the coveted Grade 9 in English and Maths, which is being likened to an A** level. This really is exceptional work.
Fantastic GCSE results at Beaulieu today. Well done girls! pic.twitter.com/6bdkrGcnr9— Beaulieu Foundation (@BeauFoundation) August 24, 2017
“We are delighted for the students who have excelled this year and we are extremely proud of all our girls’ achievements following their hard work and determination.”
“This has been an excellent year and the results are a testament to the students and staff who have devoted hard work and effort to their studies. The boys have been focused and willing to put effort into revision and they have been rewarded as a consequence.
“In every one of our key measures of performance, we have achieved or exceeded our targets for this cohort. 76% of our students achieved A*-C grades (or equivalent in the reformed GCSEs) in at least five of their subjects. In the Gold standard (that is 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths at grade 4 or higher) our performance was 72%. For a school that does not select its students on entry, based upon their academic ability, these figures are brilliant.
“On behalf of all the staff I congratulate the boys on their success and wish them well in the future.”
“We are delighted to celebrate the successes of our students who have shown such determination to achieve excellent results. Despite the warnings of more difficult GCSEs in the press, this super group of Hautlians have produced our strongest results in 5 years.
Our best GCSE results for 5 years. Lots of happy students in school right now... pic.twitter.com/8PVg8oyvSW— Hautlieu School (@HautlieuSchool) August 24, 2017
“Over 96% of students have achieved 5 A* to C grades or (9 to 4 in the new format). We have also seen a significant increase in the number of students achieving a combination of the very highest grades of A*- A (9 to 7 in the new format). Many of our subjects have produced outstanding results, but our Maths team deserve a special mention for achieving a 100% pass rate from the newly reformed (9 to 1) Maths course. In the key English Language qualification, as with Maths, the numbers of students achieving the new 9 grade, beyond A* standard, is significantly above the national average. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we should celebrate not only the overall achievements of students but also each individual success story - these stories are inspiring and we look forward to watching our students continue to shine over the next two years.”
“Once again our students have demonstrated with their fantastic results that with hard work, good teaching and aspiration, nothing is impossible. 66% of all grades were A* or A with 72% of all our students achieving 5 or more A* or A grades. This is the first year of Numbers rather than Grades in Maths; a grade 9 is above the old style A* grade and is reflective of the very highest attainment across the country. We are therefore delighted that 14 % of students gained a grade 9. However, whilst these headline figures are very pleasing they don’t reveal the many individual successes.
Pictured: Smiles all round at Jersey College for Girls.
"It is wonderful to see students who have aspired and worked so hard to significantly outperform their targets based on their CATs data. This positive difference is the value that they, their teachers, their families and the College as a whole have added to their education and we are so proud of them. I would like to thank their teachers and their parents for all the help and care they have given along the way.”
“Once again I am very proud to announce some very positive GCSE examination results this year, despite allegedly 'harder' GCSEs and a new grading system for English and Maths. Many subjects and many individuals have been very successful. Value added results are looking very positive and there has been over a 3% improvement in the overall number of students gaining 5 or more GSCEs including English and Maths at C and above (and/or 4 and above). I am particularly pleased with significant improvements with both English Language and English Literature results. It has also been very encouraging to see that many Year 10 students have also gained very successful grades in taking their English Literature exams a year early.
“I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating the students and all the staff for well-deserved examination success following many years of hard work. I would also like to praise the support of parents and the wider Le Rocquier community for all their support too.”
“We offer our congratulations to our GCSE students who have performed extremely well this year. We are delighted that 96.8% of all pupils achieved 5 A* - C grades including English and mathematics, our best result for many years. With the grades changing this year in maths and English, we are pleased that 98.6% of all results in these subjects were graded 4 or above and that in mathematics over 50% of our students achieved a level 7 or above with almost 10% achieving grade 9 which is the highest grade in the reformed GCSE qualifications and widely publicised as very difficult to achieve.
“We are very proud of our students achievements; in a year of many GCSE reforms, I am very grateful to all the staff that have taught and encouraged our pupils both in and out of the classroom, and their families who have supported them through the examination process.”
Les Quennevais are yet to reveal their official results, but in a post on social media, the school said it was celebrating its best set of GCSE results ever.
"Lots of happy faces @LesQuennevaisSc this morning... Congratulations to students and staff," the post read.
“The teaching staff at Highlands College have applied their vocational subject expertise and ingenuity to design a qualification that has motivated and challenged our students to produce fantastic work that has enabled them to really show off their abilities and skills with outstanding results.”
Highlands also provides retake opportunities for students to improve their grades in GCSE English and Maths. This year 236 students sat GCSE English of which 60.2% achieved grades A* to C (this is 33.3% higher than the 2016 UK retake rate of 26.9%)
Jersey has its own version of vocational GCSEs which have been introduced at Highlands College this year. The Jersey Progression Certificate equates to 2 GCSEs at grades A* to C and the Jersey Progression Diploma has equivalence to 4 GCSEs at Grades A* to C. The course is offered for subjects including Business, Construction, the Arts and Sport.
229 students were entered for the Jersey Progression Qualification with an overall pass rate of 90.4%. 10% of students were awarded Pass, 44.1% Merit, 32.8% Distinction and 3.5% Distinction*.
More to follow...
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.